Sleep Safety and Sleep Training: Understanding SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one term that strikes fear into parents everywhere, whether you are about to lay down a newborn or have already spent a nervous night or two with your other children. As parents, sleep safety is one of the most important concerns we have.

What is it?
SIDS is the unexplained death of an infant, typically under the age of 1. With SIDS, there is commonly no explanation for what happened. 

Is my baby at risk?
Every year, there are 3,400 cases of SIDS. While that number may seem high, compared to over 4 million babies being born in just the United States each year, the risk of your baby having SIDS is incredibly low. It’s important to be aware of how to keep your baby safe and avoid the known risks associated with SIDS.

Babies who may be at risk for SIDS: 

  • Babies who are too hot while sleeping.
  • A sleeping surface that is too soft, or one filled with too many blankets, stuffed animals, or toys.
  • Mothers who smoke while pregnant are 3 times more likely to have a baby with SIDS. Secondhand smoke can also increase a child’s risk of SIDS. If you or someone in your house smokes, work with your physician on how you can quit to reduce many risks to your child with direct and indirect smoke.  
  • Young mothers, under the age of 20, are more likely to have an high-risk SIDS infant . 
  • Mothers who didn’t take prenatal care while pregnant. 
  • Babies with a sibling who succumbed to SIDS.

What are possible causes of SIDS?
Despite extensive research, there is still no actual conclusion on what causes SIDS. There are theories that SIDS can happen due to problems with a baby who is unable to wake from sleep. Other possible causes include low levels of oxygen, and build up of carbon dioxide in the blood stream. 

Is there any way to prevent SIDS?
While there is no way to prevent SIDS from happening, researchers suggest the following to help reduce the risk of SIDS in your baby: 

  • Put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • Use a firm sleeping surface.
  • Keep all stuffed animals, extra blankets or anything that can overheat your baby out of the sleep area.
  • Quit smoking or find a way to quit as soon as pregnancy is confirmed. Avoid secondhand smoke. 

Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby Sleep Consultants understand the fears that surround SIDS and any other ailments associated with having babies. Our trained Consultants are available to visit with you regarding any sleep concerns you may have. Although we believe in educating you, we don’t believe you should continue every night in fear. We are happy to share gentle sleep solutions with you! 

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